Saint Abanoub

Dear All: The Apparition of St. Abanoub in the Church after his name in Sydney, Australia. The Blessing of St. Abanoub and all the Martyrs and Saints be with us all. Amen. Glory Always be to our Lord in His Saints.
William Hanna
St. Louis, Missouri

Saint Abanoub by: copticorthodox webmaster

Abanoub was only twelve years old when he was martyred by the Roman ruler. On July 31 of each year, the Church celebrates his death, as the day of his birth into eternal life. Abanoub's relics, as well as the relics of many Christians who died with him, are still preserved in St. Virgin Mary and St. Abanoub church in Samanoud. It is also said that the Holy Family visited that place during their presence in Egypt. The church still contains the well from which The Lord Jesus, St. Mary, and St. Joseph drank. Numerous apparitions and miracles still occur in that church until today.

Abanoub was born in a town called Nehisa in the Nile Delta. He was the only son of good Christian parents who died when he was a young child.
At the age of twelve, Abanoub entered the church and heard the priest asking the congregation to remain faithful during the persecutions provoked by Diocletian, the Roman Emperor. Abanoub received the Holy Sacraments, then he prayed to God to guide him to where he can confess his faith in Jesus our Lord. After that Abanoub gave all his possessions to the needy; then he set off to a city called Samanoud, on foot.

While he was walking, he saw the Archangel Michael in celestial glory. The sight was so extraordinary that Abanoub fell to the ground, but the Archangel raised him up, and told him that he must suffer for three days in Samanoud and he would witness to Jesus Christ in other places also.
Once in Samanoud, Abanoub went to the Roman ruler and declared his faith openly. He also insulted the ruler's idols. The ruler was infuriated and gave orders to whip him on his belly. The soldiers whipped Abanoub so hard that his intestines poured out of his tummy. However, the Archangel Michael miraculously healed him. The ruler then ordered that he be sent to jail, with the other Christians, who later were martyred for their faith.

The following day, the ruler took Abanoub on a boat to a city called Atrib, and as punishment, he hung Abanoub upside down from the sail of the boat. The soldiers, along with their ruler, started to torture Abanoub. Suddenly, the soldiers were blinded and the ruler was paralyzed. In their agony they cried to him and said, "Please Abanoub, pray to your God to heal us. For if we are cured, we will become Christians."

St. Abanoub replied, "This will only happen in Atrib, so that everyone there should know that there is no other God but Christ." When they arrived in Atrib, they were all healed, and they cried with joy: "We are Christians. We believe in the God of Abanoub". They then took off their uniforms and threw them on the ground in front of the ruler of Atrib. The governor was outraged, and ordered their execution.

In Atrib, Abanoub was tortured severely, sometimes by whipping and sometimes by tying him to a steel bed and igniting fire under him. However, the Lord saved Abanoub. As a result of these miracles, many onlookers became Christians, and received the crown of martyrdom. The ruler then gave orders to cut Abanoub's hands and feet. At that moment, the Angel of the Lord came down from heaven, and healed him. Abanoub then got up and walked in front of everybody. Hundreds of people became Christians as a result of that miracle.

Frustrated, the ruler called some of the best magicians in the country, and asked them to help him defeat Abanoub. They suggested that he be thrown to the poisonous snakes. "Those snakes have enough poison to kill two or three hundred men." they said. So they threw Abanoub in a cell with snakes, but God, who shut the mouths of the lions at the time of Daniel, tamed the snakes and they did not harm Abanoub. In the morning, and to everybody's astonishment, St. Abanoub came out from the cell alive. Then suddenly one of the snakes crawled out of the cell and coiled itself around the ruler's neck. The man cried, "In the name of Jesus your God, be merciful on me and don't let the snake harm me." The saint who loved everyone - friend or enemy - just as the Gospel commands, prayed from his heart, and then ordered the snake to come down and not to hurt the ruler. On that day, many people who were present including the three magicians believed in Jesus.

Finally one of the ruler's advisers told him to behead the saint and put an end to that episode. So the ruler ordered the soldiers to kill St. Abanoub with their swords. A faithful man called St. Julius wrapped Abanoub's body in fine linen and sent it to his hometown Nehisa where it was buried. In 960 A.D., his body was transferred to St. Virgin Mary's church in Samanoud where it still lies until today.

May his prayers be with us all, and glory be to God forever, Amen